Collect moments not things

By Chris Davies

Chris Photo2If your Facebook or Twitter feed is anything like mine, rarely a day goes by without somebody posting an inspirational picture with prophetic words of wisdom.  We even use them on our own Outward Bound Trust Facebook page

Scrolling through them on a smart phone, it can feel like those places and experiences - those moments – are a long way away for some people.  It turns out that they're nearer than you think and they are for people just like you.

Each summer The Outward Bound Trust delivers its most ambitious adventures around the mountains, rivers and lakes of the UK.  From coastal Wales, to the Lake District and the wild Highlands of Scotland, 900+ individuals aged 11 to 19 travel from 30 different countries to embark on the most powerful of journeys.

Outward Bound gave me the best summer of my life. There’s not a day goes by that I don’t use the skills that I learned. Sarah, 2014

The best part of my role is hearing from people after a course.  The stories can be incredibly moving with people eager to tell me what they've done, what they’ve learnt and how they plan to use it.  In my experience I'd say that there are 3 key motivations for those young people choosing to join us:

  • For a fresh perspective – it's a unique opportunity to meet and work with young people from different backgrounds and from all over the world
  • To stand out - participants leave with a breadth of experience that they use to enrich a personal statement and set them aside from others
  • For a life-shaping adventure - an unforgettable summer experience in the outdoors to reveal their true potential. 

Chris PhotoIn the spring we delivered our most ambitious programme, The Outward Bound Skills for Life Award, which gives participants the chance to not only 'collect those moments', but to leave with real clarity about what they are capable of.  Employers and Universities want people that are confident, resilient and ambitious and The Skills for Life Award offers the chance to demonstrate those key attitudes and behaviours in the most unique and memorable of ways. 

Better still we have financial assistance available to provide access in summer 2015 and 2016.

Recently when I met a group in their first week of their Award, they didn't know each other and were about to paddle down Loch Shiel for two days, before heading into the mountains.  I took the picture (right) at the same spot while I was having a picnic... well within my comfort zone! 

At the end of their experience I heard those same 15 to 19 year old's describe with passion about their adventures, the leadership skills they'd gained and the new friendships they'd forged. They also showed me some incredible photographs. 

Having said all that I recently met Sam, a 17 year old from Blackpool, who came for the summer in 2014 and asked 'What was the best bit?'.  'Meeting somebody from New Zealand – I'll be visiting soon!'

Whatever it is that you take from it, you’ll have an adventure that lasts a lifetime.

For more information about our 2015 and 2016 summer adventure courses - click here.